BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Warm weather is helping the 2014 Louisiana rice crop after a cold, wet spring that delayed planting for many farmers.

LSU AgCenter rice specialist Johnny Saichuk estimates the crop is about a month behind normal because of the planting delay, The Advocate reports. But in general, rice breeder and LSU AgCenter Rice Research Station director Steve Linscombe says the crop is off to a pretty good start.

Linscombe says the state acreage may increase by 10,000 to 15,000 acres this year, compared with last year's total of 412,000 acres.

Still, Saichuk says the lateness in planting could be a problem if this summer turns out to be seasonably hot when the plants are flowering. Last year, he says temperatures were mild when the crop was flowering.

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